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Navy S Marine Corps Medical News 


August 18, 2000 

Navy and Marine Corps Medical News (MEDNEWS) is a weekly 
compendium of news and information contributed by commands 
throughout the Navy medical department . Information contained 
in MEDNEWS stories is not necessarily endorsed by Navy Bureau of 
Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) , nor should it be considered 
official Navy policy. 

BUMED distributes MEDNEWS to Sailors and Marines, their 
families, civilian employees and retired Navy and Marine Corps 
families. Further distribution is highly encouraged. 

Stories in MEDNEWS use these abbreviations after a Navy 
medical professional ' s name to show affiliation: MC - Medical 
Corps (physician) ; DC - Dental Corps; NC - Nurse Corps; MSC - 
Medical Service Corps (clinicians, researchers and 
administrative managers) . Hospital Corpsmen (HM) and Dental 
Technician (DT) designators are placed in front of their names. 


Contents for this week's MEDNEWS: 

- NEPMU-5 MMART deploys to Antigua 

- NOSTRA completes phase one of ergonomic improvements 

- Great Lakes commands awarded Meritorious Unit Commendation 

- NMCP ratified first and finest in-patient care 

- Anthrax question and answer 

- TRICARE question and answer 

- Healthwatch: Off the couch, spud! 


Headline: NEPMU-5 MMART deploys to Antigua 

By Lt . Al Lumanog, Public Affairs Officer, NEPMU-5 

NORFOLK, Va. - Navy Environmental & Preventive Medicine 
Unit No. Five (NEPMU-5) deployed a Mobile Medical Augmentation 
Readiness Team (MMART) to Antigua July 5-29 in support of the 
United States Southern Command New Horizons 2000 Exercises. 

The nine-person team was assigned to Joint Task Force 
Antigua at Camp Blizard, the Antigua and Barbuda Defense Force's 
military base. The team supported the JTF and worked with the 
Antigua and Barbuda Ministry of Health to provide training and 
other support for their public health programs. 

"This deployment was mutually beneficial to the JTF, the 
Antiguan government, and our MMART team. Besides giving our 
team field experience, the deployment benefited both through the 
wide variety of deployable preventive medicine expertise and 
support that we provided, " said Lt. Cmdr. Michael Medina, MSC, 

the team's medical planner. 

Members of the team were paired off with local public 
health officials to help identify and mitigate public health 
risks in local business and government facilities . They 
surveyed suspected mosquito breeding grounds, assisted in 
sanitation inspections in hotels and restaurants, conducted 
indoor air quality and noise studies in several government 
facilities, and used rapid laboratory diagnostic procedures to 
screen human, animal and environmental samples for infectious 
disease agents. The team also worked with the JTF to prevent 
illnesses often found in deployed forces. 

"At first, the SeaBees and the Marines in the camp were 
curious about who we were and what we did, " said MMART member 
HM1 Sonji Bucannon. "But when they saw us checking the rats we 
trapped from the camp for potential disease-carrying fleas, 
collecting mosquitoes, and going to their work sites to monitor 
noise, dust and welding fumes, they got a pretty good idea what 
our team does and what our mission is. They knew we were there 
to support them. " 


Headline: NOSTRA completes phase one of ergonomic improvements 

YORTOWN, Va. - The Naval Ophthalmic Support and Training 
Activity (NOSTRA) recently completed the first phase of a 
comprehensive $600, 000 ergonomic modification of all production 
and office spaces. Ergonomics is the science of fitting the job 
to the worker. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command 
provided technical assistance and hazard abatement funding to 
correct the many ergonomic hazards encountered while producing 
approximately 423, 727 pairs of prescription eyewear annually . 
The project was developed to identify and prevent employee risk 
of cumulative trauma disorders, improve the work environment, 
and increase productivity . 

Ergonomics is on the forefront of optical laboratory 
workplace design. The project involved extensive laboratory data 
automation, adjustable workstations, mechanical stock retrieval 
system and ergonomic seating. The NOSTRA staff is already 
noticing benefits from the ergonomic upgrades . They now enjoy 
adjustable workstations that reduce fatigue from working in 
awkward positions . The new eyewear prescription data transfer 
interface has eliminated more than 6 million data entry 
keystrokes and associated worker fatigue. 

The Command Ergo Team is working on additional ergonomics 
improvements . 


Headline: Great Lakes commands awarded Meritorious Unit 
Commendati on 

By Lt. Youssef H. Aboul-Enein, MSC, Naval Hospital PAO 

GREAT LAKES, 111 . - If you were assigned to Naval Hospital 

Great Lakes from November 1, 1998, to March 1, 2000, you may be 

entitled to receive the Meritorious Unit Commendation. 

Earlier this month Great Lakes commands received the award 

for the "conduct of recruits and student technical training for 

the Department of Defense . " The award commended the personnel 
of Naval Training, Center Great Lakes, 111 . , for consistently 
displaying exemplary resourcefulness, teamwork and determination 
while achieving unprecedented success in increasing training 
capability and incorporating sweeping change to the training 
process . 

The commendation further stated that the extraordinary 
increase in demand for new Sailors for the Navy's operational 
forces resulted in a 20 percent increase in recruit summer surge 
accessions for Fiscal Year 1999. In order to transform these 
civilians into successful Sailors, without compromising Navy 
standards, the entire staff transcended conventional paradigms 
for inter-command cooperation and multi-disciplinary program 
innovation . 

"This honor represents the radical changes this base has 
undergone in two years and its critical position as the Navy's 
only Recruit Training Center, " said Capt . Elaine Holmes, MC, 
commanding officer Naval Hospital Great Lakes. 

Holmes also remarked that this award is not only for the 
active duty staff of Naval Hospital Great Lakes but for those 
active and reserve units that provide support during the Recruit 
Summer Surge for the period mentioned. 

If you served at Naval Hospital Great Lakes contact the 
Public Affairs Office at (847) 688-2711 DSN 792. Reserve 
personnel on ADSW (Active Duty for Special Work) or AT (Annual 
Training) during timeframe are also entitled. Reservists should 
contact Reserve Liaison Office at (847) 688-2723/2726/6699 . 


Headline: NMCP ratified first and finest in-patient care 
By Naval Medical Center Portsmouth Public Affairs Office 

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - NAVAL Medical Center Portsmouth 
constantly impresses many military beneficiaries with its 
facilities and outstanding patient care, but last month it also 
made an impact on some hard-to-impress surveyors. 

A team from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of 
Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) visited NMCP in July to 
evaluate the work and patient care practices of the hospital . As 
part of the survey, every department and clinic was scrutinized 
from sharp containers to medical records, and everything in- 
between. Afterward the hospital was awared a preliminary score 
of 95. 

NMCP ' s score is even more significant after the changes 
implemented for the year 2000 survey made the overall standards 
tougher. Currently, the average score for healthcare facilities 
across the nation is in the 80' s. 

Vikki Garner, Head of Quality Management said the toughest 
part of preparing for the survey was making sure the staff was 
aware and understood what the Joint Commission was looking for. 

"Considering the move to Charette 15 months ago, the staff 
faced a challenge with having to get used to a new building, new 
equipment and new guidelines, but everyone was determined to be 
the best, " Garner said. 

"The Joint Commission team was totally overwhelmed by our 

unwavering commitment to quality health care, wonderful staff, 
and a beautiful facility, " said Rear Adm. Marion Balsam. 

The entire staff at NMCP was thrilled at the score, but 
they weren't surprised. "I knew we'd score high because we 
already provide great services for our patients . We knew the 
surveyors would see our hard work, " said HM1 Thomas Kooser, 
Cardiology's leading Petty Officer . 

JCAHO's accreditation is recognized nationwide as a symbol 
of quality. It verifies that an organization meets certain 
performance standards. To earn and maintain accreditation, an 
organization must undergo an on-site survey by JCAHO at least 
every three years. 

Along with the JCAHO surveyors, the Medical Inspector 
General team also conducted their review of the hospital . The 
admiral was extremely complimentary to the NMCP ' s Board of 
Director ' s . 

"You have already achieved your vision of being the "First 
and Finest" medical treatment facility, " Balsam said. 

Headline: Anthrax question and answer 

Question: What will happen if personnel are exposed to 
anthrax before they gain immunity through vaccination? 

Answer: Personnel will be treated with antibiotics if there 
is a known exposure to anthrax before gaining immunity through 
vaccination. Antibiotics are effective in treating animals, 
including primates , exposed to inhalation anthrax, but only if 
started before symptoms develop. This would usually mean 
starting antibiotics in the first 24 hours after exposure. 
Unfortunately , service members may not know they have been 
exposed until symptoms develop; by then, the infection is nearly 
always fatal within a few days, whether antibiotics are given or 
not . The best protection to counter inhalation anthrax is the 
use of the anthrax vaccine combined with the appropriate Mission 
Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) , including protective 
clothing and detection equipment. 


Headline: TRICARE question and answer 

Question: I'm on active duty and stationed away from a 
military installation. What do I do for medical care, and do I 
have to pay? 

Answer: Currently, as an active duty member, you are 
covered for your health care needs through supplemental care 
funds; under no circumstance will you be required to pay for any 
health care you may need. While not available currently, policy 
changes are being worked to provide TRICARE Prime from civilian 
PCM in the local area for Geographically Separated Units (GSU) . 


Headline: Healthwatch: Off the Couch, spud! 
From the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery 

If the most exercise you get comes from changing TV 
channels with the remote, you may be jeopardizing your health. 

By turning the television off, your risks of becoming or staying 
overweight are reduced by as much as 50 percent . Not to 
mention, turning off the television could improve your 
concentration, your communication with your family and friends, 
and your quality of life. 

Two recent studies of Americans viewing habits showed that 
the chances for unhealthy obesity more than doubles when TV 
viewing reaches three to four hours a day. 

Unfortunately, many people spend almost as much time 
watching television as they spend working for a living. And for 
many children, TV viewing is their primary daily activity, 
second only to sleeping! 

You don't have to throw out your television to reduce its 
influence over your life. To help get that TV monkey off your 
back, try these tips to limit the amount of time you spend in 
front of the boob tube: 

- Preselect programs and schedule viewing time for only the 
programs you really want to watch. Stick to that schedule! 

- Stop channel surfing. Turn on the set only for the 
preselected programs and then turn it off when the show is over. 

- When the TV is off, get out of the house. Go for a walk 
or visit friends or neighbors. 

- If you can't leave the house, leave the room with the 
television . Read something, write a letter, resume an old hobby 
or find a new one.